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Using Actions to automate interactions
Using Actions to automate interactions

Create actions to automate or trigger visual changes based on user interaction with your dashboard, all without writing a line of code.

Christophe Costantini avatar
Written by Christophe Costantini
Updated over a week ago

Introducing no code Actions

Use the Actions feature to add customized interactions and analytical (logic) event-driven functions to your workbook - all without writing any code. And you can create them once and use them throughout your workbook.

Define the action you want to create; it could be to automate visual changes to your data using a filter or to add interactive actions that modify the worksheet with the click of a button. You can do both of those actions by putting them in sequence.

Drag and drop blocks from the catalog to create an action. Each action must have an input (trigger) and an output. Placing a condition between them is not mandatory.



Creating an Action in three steps

  1. Open a workbook, add a new workbook layer

  2. From the left side panel, click on Actions to open the Action Editor.

  3. Select the action blocks to build your action. When you're happy with the action, click Done to complete the action.

Astrato worksheet with the link to the Actions catalog highlighted.

If you have an element on your worksheet, like a button, the link to modify its actions displays in the Object style toolbar as well.

Link to Actions displays in an object's style menu.

Understanding the Action Editor

The Action Editor displays a new layer to create your first Action. The catalog of actions displays on the left. Click the plus (+) icon to add a new action sheet to keep your work tidy.

The Actions sheets given a default number are numbered at the top in the middle; click the three dots to rename the sheet. Just a quick reminder - all your actions can be used throughout your workbook.

Action Editor displays.

Drag and drop blocks from the catalog to create an action.

Tip: Organize your actions on individual sheets so they're always ready to use in a new view.

The example below shows two actions; a Trigger event (Every 120 seconds) and a Filter event.

Tip: You can preview the actions and how they would behave in a published workbook. They run only when viewing a workbook and not while you're editing.

Example of an Event trigger with an Apply filter outcome.

Using Action blocks

Each action block represents a coding concept, and the whole action is displayed as interlocking blocks.

Each block only fits with the shapes that can create a logical flow. If you try to add a block incompatible with the sequence, the blocks do not connect.

Most blocks include a field or drop-down options where text or parameters are set.

Use the catalog to modify the ones you have or create more.

Tip: Organize your actions on individual pages so they're always ready to use in a new view.

Modifying an action block

Click on the action block and drag it down to detach it from the blocks.

The fields on an action block can hold text, numbers, boolean conditions, and defined outcomes as part of their sequential flow.

If you have a block that is incomplete or invalid, it displays as red, indicating the action can't be performed.

In this example, the field on the Button trigger action shows 'No buttons' because there is no button on the worksheet for it to reference.

The action block displays as red if it is missing an output on the worksheet.

Removing an action block

To remove an action block, simply drag it back to the toolbar, or select it and press Delete.

To keep an action block on the side, drag it slightly away from the middle where you're building your action.

Trigger blocks

These blocks must be placed at the start of the flow for an action. They define what triggers your action. Controls can enhance interactivity or add 'listeners' to trigger an event.

Controls

  • Button - Start point when a specific button has been interacted with. Pick a button from the dropdown in the block and then if it should be triggered through a click event or on hover.

Events

  • Every [...] sec (Timer) - Cycles through every set amount of seconds. It triggers the action with each new cycle.

  • Enter [Select sheet] - Triggered when entering a sheet. Set which sheet should be used in the dropdown of the block

  • Variable change - Is executed when the chosen variable is changed. Define which variable the block should listen for a change on.

  • Before workbook opens - you can use this trigger to apply a Navigation action, for example, to select a specific sheet within your workbook to display first.

  • On any [...] filter change - trigger actions when a Filter is either pending or applied

  • On [...] filter change within [...] state - the event triggers when a Filter has been applied or is pending in a field.

Image shows list of Trigger blocks - control and event types

Logic blocks

These blocks can change the flow of the action executed based on conditions to produce multiple outcomes.

These are split into Parameters, Conditions, and Operators. Operators are available for numeric and text blocks.

Parameters

  • [View], [Field], [Aggregation] - Select the table, field and aggregation as your parameters.

  • Count [...] filter in [Table], [Field] - Select whether the parameter is applied or pending and then filter on a table and field.

Conditions

  • IF - Expects to be provided with a boolean. If the boolean returns true, the action blocks run.

  • IF/ELSE - Expects to be provided with a boolean. If the boolean returns true, the blocks inside of the IF-clause will run; otherwise, the action blocks inside of the ELSE-clause run.

  • TRUE / FALSE - Set whether the condition must be true or false.

Logic - parameters and conditional action blocks from the Action catalog.

Operators - Boolean

  • Mathematical operations - Expects to be provided with numerical values. Returns a boolean. Operators available:

  • =

    • >

    • <

    • >=

    • <=

  • between two values

  • Static boolean - Returns the value specified in the dropdown.

  • Variable boolean - Returns the current value of the variable.

  • Measure parameter - Returns a number. Pick a table in the first dropdown, a field in the second dropdown, and aggregation in the third dropdown. Also applied, the current filters applied to the query.

  • 'Number blocks' have rounded edges and can only be put into slots in other blocks where a numeric outcome is expected.

Outcome blocks

Use these blocks to define the output of your action. They can be put in a sequence and return changes in the workbook.

These actions output a change to Navigation, Filter/Data, and Variables

Outcome action blocks from the Action catalog.

The outcome of an action is the result of the flow and changes the state of the workbook or the execution of a function.

Navigation

  • Sheet navigation - Navigates to a sheet in the workbook

    • First sheet

    • Last sheet

    • Next sheet

    • Previous sheet

    • Specific sheet - Pick a sheet in the dropdown of the block

  • Open URL - Navigates to the URL specified in a new tab

Filters

  • Apply filter - Applies a filter to the workbook.

  • Clear filter - Clears all filters applied in the workbook.

  • Refresh data - Makes a new query for the objects on the sheet.

Variables

  • Set variable - Expects a matching variable type. Pick a variable in the dropdown then the value of that variable will change to the assigned value when run.

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